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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Best Recipe

That is how I refer to the compilation of medications I take at any given time, now or in the past--recipes.  I look at it in that way because the doctor who prescribes them has to figure out what medications (meds) work with other meds and also help the issues that I deal with on a regular basis.  That is not an easy task, in my book.  And doctors have new medications that come out on the market on a regular basis.  They have to figure out those side affects and how they work with other meds' side affects, including other types of meds like antibiotics and heart medications.  Whoo!  I would not want that job.  
We are all chemically made up differently.  Certain meds that work on one person with the same issues may not work on you.  I would never tell someone they should take the meds I take because it works for me.  It is not my place anyway, but like I said, we all react differently chemically and what can change that chemical make-up.

What I will tell you is my recommended recipe.  It includes (NOTE:  ONLY IF YOUR DOCTOR PRESCRIBES THEM) medications with regular counseling/therapy.  My psychiatrist would ask me regularly when I was struggling the most if I was meeting with my counselor.  Just relying on medications (especially when you are new at taking psychotropic meds) is not helpful.  In counseling on a regular basis--you can learn tools to COPE with your depression, anxiety, OCD or whatever issues you have.  You have someone to bounce those disturbing thoughts off of to see if they are rational, or not. Over time, you will have a helpful toolbox you would not have otherwise if you only took meds.  So when your thinking starts to hit a wall of hopelessness (AND IT'S NOT YOUR MEDS) then you have the right tools to combat those thoughts.  Now, if you are new at taking psychotropic meds or starting a new one with your other regular 'recipe' of meds--AND you are feeling 'off' mentally--then your meds may need adjusting.  Contact your psychiatrist or prescribing doctor as soon as you can so he/she can make those adjustments.  Sometimes, a med just didn't work for me, made me more depressed when it was supposed to 'boost' my anti-depressant affect.  Then my doctor took me off whatever med was causing it.  LET YOUR DOCTOR TELL YOU IF YOU NEED TO STOP TAKING A MED OR MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT--INCREASE OR DECREASE THE DOSAGE; DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF.  That can be dangerous.  We are talking about your brain here.  That is nothing to play around with or experiment on.  But, unfortunately, this is common with people who take psychotropic meds.  They play 'doctor' on themselves by stopping their meds without a doctor's consent, take them NOT as prescribed--either increase or decreasing or skipping dosages.  This is irresponsibility folks.  It will play havoc with your brain and those around you will be affected, as well.  Then your prescribing doctor has to try to get you mentally stabilized after you may have 'doctored' yourself.  It is not fair to him or her either.  Remember, you are not the only one in on your mental disorder and treating it.

If you are a Christian then you need to seek out Christian counseling; not a secular counselor.  Would you take your pet to a regular doctor or to a vet?  I am talking specifics here.  It will make ALL the difference in the world if you can find a Christian counselor in your area.  Do an internet search.  If he/she is an hour away, but it is doable, then do it.  Talking about your issues and from a Christian standpoint will not make any sense to an unbeliever.  They will not be able to give you wise counsel from that Christian perspective.  A Christian counselor will pray for you.  The ones I have known always pray for their patients.  They have that God-given interest in you as a fellow believer--to hear your struggles and possibly be able to empathize with you if they have struggled, as well with something.  And all Christians have struggled with something in their lives.  Right?

Now, there are good doctors and bad ones.  There are good (name of category of people here) and bad ones.  So, just as there are good Christian counselors--there are some that are not that helpful.  OR, their beliefs do not mesh with the Bible, as they should.  I ran into that one.  I had known this counselor for a while at other times in my life.  Then we had a discussion about homosexuality.  His response was (summarized here), "Shouldn't all people who love each other be allowed to marry?"  Ummmm.....NO.  So, needless to say, I ended that counselor relationship.  I can and do love people without agreeing with their lifestyle.  We are called to love all people.  Check out the Bible if you need reassurance.  It's there.

Ask God for wisdom and discernment regarding your search for a psychiatrist/doctor and Christian counselor.  "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5 NIV).  I believe God will direct you to the right path.  You might be surprised where that path will lead and the blessings you gain from it.  Be ready to receive those tools for your mental toolbox and use them when needed.  The Holy Spirit within you is your biggest 'tool' that can guide you where you ought to go.